Apricot & Hazelnut Blondies

Blondies are a lovely alternative to brownies and the variety of ingredients that can be added is almost endless.  Today I decided to make some blondies, using soft dried apricots and hazeluts.

I also decided to use browned butter, which means a little extra effort but does give a nice nutty flavour to the butter in the recipe . However, for those who don’t have time, or don’t want to try that, melted butter will work fine too. 

I used a 9inch (23cm) pan for mine though 8 inch would work too.  For those who only have a 13×9 inch pan, or who like to make a larger batch, you can simply increase the ingredients by 1/2 throughout the recipe and that will work too.

The recipe is simple and doesn’t require much mixing, though I did mine in a stand mixer as I wanted to beat the eggs into the butter and sugar for a few minutes to thicken it up to try to give an increased volume to the blondies.  The sugar creates a nice chewy texture to the blondies and, in my case, the apricot and hazelnuts add great texture and flavour.

These blondies are a great success, moist and chewy and very tasty indeed.  As mentioned above any number of ingredients can be added, or swapped for the apricots and hazelnuts, such as toffee chips, chocolate chips, cranberries, raisins, coconut, peanuts, cashews, almonds, walnuts etc.  The basic batter would be the same and you just mix in whatever extra textures and flavours you want.

Apricot & Hazelnut Blondies

Apricot & Hazelnut Blondies – Video

Ingredients:

  • 185g(1 1/2sticks + 1tbsp) unsalted butter
  • 185g(1 1/2 cups) plain flour
  • 265g(1 1/3 cups)packed light brown sugar
  • 65g(1/4 cup + 1tbsp)caster or granulated sugar
  • 2 medium eggs(large in USA)
  • 100g(2/3 cup) chopped soft dried apricots
  • 90g(2/3 cup) chopped hazelnuts
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla powder(or 1 tsp vanilla extract).

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/350 F.
  2. Line a 9 inch square(23cm) cake tin(8 inch square would be ok too).
  3. If browning the butter place in a saucepan and on a medium heat let it boil, stirring, until the milk solids cook and turn brown.  Be careful not to allow them to burn.  If they burn strain the mixture before using.  Otherwise simply melt the butter.
  4. Place the butter into the bowl of a stand mixer(you can do this all by hand).
  5. Add the sugars and beat into the butter until all is combined.
  6. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat to combine.  
  7. Continue to beat the eggs into the mixture for 3 minutes so it increases in volume.
  8. If using vanilla extract add that and beat to combine.
  9. Put the baking powder, salt and vanilla powder(if using) into the flour and mix to combine.
  10. Add the dry mixture to the butter mixture and beat on slow until almost combined.  There may be a little flour still showing.
  11. Remove the beater from the mixer and pour in the apricots and hazelnuts and stir until evenly combined.
  12. Scrape the batter into the cake tin and spread to level out across the base of the pan.
  13. Bake in oven for 35 to 40 minutes.  A crust should be on the top and skewer in the centre will be almost clean, maybe just slightly moist.
  14. Remove from the oven and place the tin on a wire rack to cool completely.
  15. Then remove the blondies from the tin and cut into squares or bars to serve.


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